By Fiona Freddy
The Federal Government on Tuesday pledged to support the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) to enhance trade, create wealth and ease the flow of capital and growth in the region.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama said this when the new Director General of WAMI, Dr. Ngozi Egbuna, paid a courtesy call on him in Abuja.
The director-general had earlier requested the ministry to provide political support for the Institute to enhance its operations in the region.
Onyeama said: “The institute has an objective to have a convergence of trade financial system among the English speaking countries in West Africa to have a macro economic convergence.
“We are in the position to provide some political supports to this institute. First and foremost, what we were talking about is important of it becoming a commission and regrouping these countries.
“What we are all aiming for is the single monetary union within the ECOWAS sub region, but there is an organisation that groups monetary union of the French-speaking West African countries,” he said
He said that WAMI was the equipment for the English-speaking West African countries, which he said was very important in that convergence.
“So we discussed the political support that the ministry should be providing for them to give greater support and empower them more to be able to interact with ECOWAS and also interact with the West Africa monitoring area, the French-speaking monetary Union,” he said.
He said that the institute was created by the English-speaking West African countries and had been doing a very good job of ensuring trade facilitation in the region.
He said that the institute was working towards easy trading in the region and ensure that “our currency is to be accepted in the sub region among sub countries.
“It is also to increase trade and create wealth and ease the flow of capital and growth.
“So it forms part of the initiatives or trajectory programme towards greater integration and greater prosperity,” he said.
The WAMI boss had earlier said she was in the ministry to intimate the institute with the ministry’s programme and what the institute could do for Nigeria.
Egbuna said that WAMI was ready to foster more integration in the sub region.
“In the West African Monetary Zone, we need more integration in terms of trade, financial institution, integration of capital market; our insurance companies have to be integrated.
“That is what our main programmes are but beyond that we need to have more synergy as English speaking West African countries plus Guinea,” she said